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Sylvie Cachay Was Strangled and Drowned, Autopsy Reveals

By DNAinfo Staff on December 29, 2010 5:04pm  | Updated on December 30, 2010 7:23am

By Shayna Jacobs

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MANHATTAN — Sylvie Cachay, an up-and-coming swimsuit designer who was found dead in a SoHo House bathtub, was strangled and drowned, officials said Wednesday.

The city medical examiner's office had been waiting for the toxicology report before determining the official cause of death, after an initial autopsy report was inconclusive.

Cachay was found in a bathtub full of water inside a hotel room at the members-only club on Dec. 9 while her boyfriend Nicholas Brooks was at the hotel bar drinking with a man he'd met that evening, prosecutors said.

She had checked into SoHo house a few hours earlier with Brooks, 24, the hard-partying son of disgraced "You Light Up My Life" composer Joseph Brooks. Police found her around 2 a.m. laying in a bathtub full of water wearing a black sweater and underwear and surrounded by half-empty pill bottles, sources said.

Prosecutors said surveillance video showed that Brooks and Cachay were the only people to enter and exit the room, which was booked in Cachay's name. Brooks told police Cachay was alive when he left her in the hotel room to go out for drinks prosecutors said. But prosecutors say he murdered her in a fit of rage after she ended their rocky relationship.

Brooks was charged earlier this month with attempted murder and strangulation but prosecutors suggested at his arraignment that the charges could change pending the full autopsy reports. The full contents of the autopsy toxicology reports have not been released to the public.

Brooks was indicted in connection to Cachay's death but the exact indictment charges will remain sealed until his appearance in Manhattan Supreme Court on Tuesday. Prosecutors could seek to recall the grand jury and present them with the new evidence, which could result in increased charges.

Prosecutors declined to comment.